Marlin Firmware Update
I took a brief hiatus from programming Marlin during the holidays and spent lots of time testing out 1.1.0-RC2 and RC3 using my RepRap, a self-sourced Prusa i3 that I call "Millie." Everything worked well for me on the software side. I only wish I had more equipment to test on. I had an offer of a graphical display, but unfortunately that hasn't materialized yet.

My aim at this time is to focus exclusively on "shepherding" Marlin 1.1.0 through to a final release. There are over 100 requests in the Issue Queue (not all bugs, I swear!) that I will need to clear in the coming weeks. I'm really proud of the work everyone has done on this long overdue release, and at this time I'm calling on your help to get through this final push and get 1.1.0 tested, patched, and released into the world.

Marlin Documentation

The marlinfirmware dot org domain is no longer active, so the project home is now formally the Github MarlinFirmware project page, and documentation is hosted on the Marlin Github wiki. Writing up-to-date documentation is another area needing much time and attention, though some progress has already been made. In the meantime, when it comes to configuring the 1.1.0 release most of what you see on YouTube and in the RepRap Forums still applies, with some minor changes. Speaking of the RepRap Forums, we now have a Marlin Firmware topic where you can get answers and discuss issues with other Marlin users. I will try to drop by and help out as often as I can.

Marlin 1.2 and the Future

On the project and teamwork side, I finally gave in to the future and I've started to work with the MarlinDev branch. I know, I know. Have I submitted to "the Dark Side" and lost my conviction? Not at all. I'm still 100% vociferous in my defense of users and not breaking their existing configurations or making things harder. So while I was initially annoyed and frightened by the unusual changes being made to MarlinDev, I've started to warm up to some of them.

The first thing to note is that the next version of Marlin (1.2) uses a new file layout with much-improved integration with Arduino IDE. It will require at least Arduino 1.6.7 to build, and there's a whole new install process to follow. Once all the Marlin packages have been installed the appropriate places, the Arduino IDE will list any boards in the Marlin package in the "Boards" submenu. This means you'll be able to select your actual board, such as "RAMBo" or "Sanguino."

Of course, you will still be able to use a Makefile if that's more suited to your needs.

In this new form, all of Marlin is basically a library, so you will now keep your configuration files completely separate. You should be able to update Marlin in most cases just by opening your custom INO file and hitting Build & Upload.

In the end, I think it's a great idea for Marlin to become more like a collection of libraries. It may also encourage us to take parts of Marlin and make them into their own libraries for general use, making it easier to build custom firmware.

The only caveat of Marlin's new layout is that if you want to use an alternative IDE, such as UECIDE, for now you'll just have to figure it out. I was unable to work out where to put things to satisfy UECIDE. I'm sure that with more research I can figure it out. But for now, I'm happy using Arduino 1.6.7.

So please follow me here, on GoFundMe, on Twitter, and YouTube! I've got a lot of interesting RepRap-related things coming up this year, and whipping Marlin into shape is just the start.